PMP Process Chart: Backbone of Exam Prep – Colette Coleman, PMP

pmp process chart crucial colette coleman pmp

Colette Coleman told herself that once she obtained her PMP certification she would help other individuals obtain theirs because this is not an easy task. So here is Colette’s PMP lessons learned post. You will notice that she gives ample importance to PMP process chart – the backbone of PMP prep.

Her first attempt at PMP exam didn’t go as per the plan. Not the one to lose heart, she took a break to gather her thoughts and got back to prepare with renewed energy. Colette prepared for and passed her PMP exam recently.

What event or experience triggered your desire to take up PMP exam?

I was working as an Implementation Coordinator Lead and notice some of my responsibilities were similar to a Project Manager i.e. collecting data, running kickoff meetings, leading weekly status calls, working with subject matters experts etc.

I decided why not obtain my PMP and earn the salary a Project Manager make since I am already doing some of the responsibilities of Project Manager.

This approach helped me prepare for the exam with a good amount of confidence to start with.

Also read: Use this secret technique to intuitively create PMP process chart under 7 minutes!

2. How may PMP impact your work?

My PMP certificate will allow me to obtain career as a project manager. In addition, the skills I learned while studying for my PMP I can utilize within my current career.

Now I am able to work in complete capacity of a project manager and enjoying my role thoroughly. I’m glad that PMP came in at the right time. You wouldn’t believe where I’m working right now! 🙂

Also read: How Saksham aced his PMP exam earlier this month

3. Which study resources did you consider for the preparation?

I did consider a few. They are broadly categorized in these buckets –

  1. Core content preparation resources (blog posts, books, boot camps)
  2. Fine-tune learning and practice for the exam (simulator, PMP process chart, videos)
  3. Support group (group, accountability partner)

Here are the study resources and support I used for my exam preparation –

4. How did you approach the exam and what was your study plan?

My study plan consisted of mastering a chapter before moving on to the next chapter.

Initially I struggled because I was not understanding the Project Management methodology.  So I wrote my brain dump several times a day including the equations. Once I understood that the way I wrote my brain dump is not the way PMP methodology flows I started to grasp a better understanding of the PMP concepts.

In order to understand where I stand I took practice exams, and this allowed me to complete a SWOT analysis.

As a strategy to learn better I followed these techniques –

  1. I rewrote chapters in the language I understood them.
  2. I recorded myself doing teach backs of the material. If I could teach what I was studying that confirmed I understood it.

5. Those are awesome techniques! Did you face any issues?

Yes, of course I did.

  • Not knowing which resources to use as there is so much out there to choose from.

I did a lot of research then finally decided to narrow and focus on two out of all of the resources I had.

  • Investing in a bad boot camp they guarantee you will pass the exam after the completion of their boot camp and their material is all you need. Make sure you pay attention to the fine print when enrolling in a boot camp.

I had to take the exam twice as I was not ready after completing my first boot camp.

  • Being confident in myself – I did a lot of prayer, meditation and affirmations before I got to a place where I was comfortable with the material and less stressed out.
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6. How did you prepare in the week prior to the exam?

The week before the exam I did a lot of prayer, meditation and affirmations.

I completed one 4-hour exam and reviewed areas I scored low in. Went over PMP process chart to ensure I refresh the process flow and connections.

I did not study the day before; I relaxed and figured if you don’t know it by now cramming the last day is going to stress you out. So I decided to take a break and rest my mind.

7. Can you describe your exam experience?

The testing center staff was great.

Noise cancelling headphones were provided which was helpful.

The temperature in the room was not too cold or hot.

I used the entire 4 hours of time to complete the exam.

I did three reviews – my first pass consisted of completing the questions I knew the answers to. I saved the most difficult and formula based questions for the last round for review.

8. Any specific study tips?

Here are few tips as well as advice that might help –

  • It’s okay to be nervous the day of testing. Being nervous does not mean you are not prepared.
  • Make sure you fully understand the PMP methodology. Again, PMP process chart is crucial to understand. Spend time on it.
  • Use a variety of test simulators you don’t know what type of questions you will have on the exam completing multiple simulators will prepare you. If you can afford only one simulator I recommend PMTraining or Cornelius Fitchner.
  • Find you an accountability partner – someone who can keep you focused and support you on this journey.

Studying for your PMP requires a lifestyle change. If you are not ready to fully commit don’t waste your time and money.

Best of luck,

Colette Coleman, MBA, PMP

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